Manibela Prepares for 3-day strike; joins PISTON in ongoing tigil-pasada

Ethan Dumo | Staffers | The OLPSian Times

Regular Jeepney on its regular journey. | Photo Courtesy from CNN Philippines.

Transport group Manibela is holding its transport strike from Wednesday, November 22, until Friday, November 24, while the Pinagkaisang Samahan ng mga Tsuper at Operators Nationwide (PISTON) continues with its three-day strike which started on Monday, November 20, in protest against the December 31 deadline of the phase-out of traditional jeepneys.

PISTON’s three-day transport strike is a clear indication that many jeepney drivers and operators are against consolidation, as less than 60% of traditional jeepneys have joined the PUV Modernization Program (PUVMP).

The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) insists that the program does not intend to phase out the local jeepney model, but aims to, at minimum, upgrade its parts to make it environment-friendly, but PISTON isn’t convinced.

“Wag na nila lituhin ang taumbayan. Ang franchise consolidation ay phaseout. Ang franchise consolidation ay pagbawi at pagmasaker sa mga indibidwal na prangkisa at pagpasa nito sa mga malalaking transport corporation na sila lang may kapasidad na magbayad at sumunod sa mga pakana ng gubyerno,” said PISTON national president Mody Floranda.

PISTON claimed that on the first day of their transport strike managed to paralyze over 90% of transport routes in Metro Manila.

“Starting tomorrow, MANIBELA and others will join the transport strike nationwide as a way of answering the lack of attention given to our concerns by the DOTr (Department of Transportation) and LTFRB (Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board), Manibela president Mar Valbuena said.

Valbuena also explained their intentions in holding the transport strike is to not paralyze the country’s transportation system for no reason but rather have a clear plan on how the program will not damage the livelihood of jeepney drivers.

Metro Manila’s LGUs and the MMDA also planned “libreng-sakay” to monitor the affected routes and help stranded commuters amid the week-long transport strike.

Meanwhile, several schools in Metro Manila announced the suspension of face-to-face classes on November 20, and DepEd says that the suspension of classes on the following days of the strike will depend on the discretion of the LGUs.

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